Barely unpacked from AK, I had a family reunion to get to out west. See, we decided to gather up the gang – Kelli & Mitchell, my mom & her husband Murray, and us – to spend some time together out in the great outdoors, appreciating each other’s company, as well as the company of lots of wildlife and beautiful surroundings. Tom & Kelli took a road trip out west, stopping along the way to get their mountain biking fix, and met us in Salt Lake City. After a brief stop in SLC, we ventured out to Yellowstone NP & Great Teton NP. To my surprise, we were a bit late for the explosion of fall colors that we had enjoyed 2 years ago – same time, same place. Oh well, didn’t matter because the trip more than made up for the lack of fall colors by the abundance of wildlife. Bears, moose, bison, wolves, coyotes, pronghorn, and elk were plentiful! The weather was crispy cool, OK maybe even cold at times, but this Florida girl enjoyed it immensely. Tom & I would get up really early every morning and shoot, while the family took in a bit more sleep.
After spending several days trying to track down the elk in the very early mornings, there’s a few things that I can remember as if it were just a moment ago ….
1. The sound of the elk when they bugle. If you haven’t heard that amazing sound, you need to google elk and listen to their call. It’s one of the most amazing sounds that you will ever hear. For literally miles and miles you can hear the echo within the vast wilderness of the landscape. So soothing ….
2. Another sound ….. see we ran across many sightings of coyotes – hunting in the fields, running to and fro ….. but on 2 occasions, we saw them run back to what I figured out afterwards must have been their den, most likely with a meal, and you could hear the yips of their young. I’m not talking a yip or 2, I’m talking about 1-3 minutes of continuous calling out. That is another sound that if you’ve never heard it, you should. I wanted to tape it on my video in my camera, but I was paralyzed by the beauty of their sound. Big time smiles after hearing that one!
Several days were also spent in and around Park City also, as Mitchell joined us for an extended weekend or so. Then off towards AZ and NM we went – taking a few detours along the way – some intended, some not. What a beautiful country we live in! One of our unintended detours involved St. George (we won’t go into that one), but things happen for a reason and the detour turned into a visit to Zion NP – so incredibly beautiful and a treat from the summertime visit we did several years ago – much less crowded.
While the beauty of the southwest was difficult to leave, we had a more definite destination.
Stay tuned for 2012 Review: Part 6